When two explosions rocked the city of Jos in central Nigeria earlier this week, the Nigerian Red Cross Society responded immediately and provided support to relatives of those who lost their lives in the twin blasts, and to some victims who were injured. The National Society, through its Plateau Branch, mobilized 25 volunteers who were the first to provide assistance in the form of first aid and psychosocial support to 90 people. Volunteers also helped reunite hospitalized victims with their relatives, and, together with other partnering agencies, helped transport 118 deceased persons to designated hospitals.
With support from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Nigerian Red Cross provided body bags that were used in the removal of the bodies.
Bello Hamman Diram, Secretary General of the National Society, commended volunteers for being active and upholding the mandate of the Red Cross and for "being safety conscious and not rushing to the scene after the first blast."
Diram travelled to the site of the explosions with the director general of the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency, with whom the Red Cross works closely during emergencies. "While their intention to help rescue victims is commendable, people should not always rush to the scene of explosions," advised Diram, "as there is always the likelihood of a secondary blast."
No Red Cross staff or volunteers were injured in the operation.